Mob damages Bantul courthouse in anger over ruling
The Jakarta Post
Around 100 members of youth organization Pemuda Pancasila (PP) have damaged the Bantul District Court building in anger over the court’s verdict to declare the group’s chairman, Doni Bimo Saptoto, guilty of assault.
The court’s panel of judges sentenced Doni to five months of imprisonment with nine months of probation on Thursday for his involvement in the disbandment of artist Andreas Iswinarno’s “Tribute to Wiji Thukul” painting exhibition last year at the Indonesian Islamic University’s Center for Human Rights Studies (Pusham UII).
The panel of judges, led by Subagyo, found Doni guilty of violating Article 335 (1) of the Criminal Code. Commenting on the verdict, the defendant said he was still considering whether to accept or appeal it.
PP members who had attended the hearing immediately left the courtroom and ran amok upon hearing the sentence. They destroyed televisions, flower pots, visitor chairs and security guard tables at the courthouse.
“We suspect they are not satisfied with the sentence,” Bantul District Court spokesperson Zainal Arifin said. He said the court had not yet decided whether it would take legal action against the rowdies.
In the incident last year, Doni and his men arrived at the exhibition and called for its disbandment, saying Wiji was a supporter of the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party.
Pusham UII director Eko Riyadi welcomed the verdict, saying it was a milestone in the protection of and respect for academic activities. (swa/ebf)
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